settle this once and for all!"
of Love paced furiously in front of the council at Mt.
Olympus. Ares yawned, not the least bit concerned by
the outburst. This gesture only fueled the goddess’
ranting. She stopped in front of the God of War; her
hands placed firmly on her hips in confrontation.
on Ares," the love goddess egged. "I mean
it! Let’s get this settled for good so I can move on
to more important issues."
what?" Ares shrugged. "Your hair
eyes narrowed into slits. Great Zeus how she despised
her brother at times. "Nooo," the goddess
replied. "And not like I’d tell you anyway...
You’d send in Strife or Discord to wreak everything
I worked hard to create."
Ares spat. "You’ve caused more death, heartache
and despair than I ever could...Love is the most
dangerous weapon of all... Don’t act so ‘holy’
my dear sister."
getting off the subject, Ares!" Dite replied
getting worked up again. "Are we going to do this
didn’t answer. He went to work polishing his sword.
the matter Ares? Scared?"
not scared!" Ares answered, darting to his feet.
Zeus yelled. He had all he could stand of the two of
them. ‘Kids’ the King of the Gods thought as he
shook his head. ‘Will they ever grow up?’ Ares and
Dite, in addition to the rest of the council, waited
for him to continue. "Are you accepting this
challenge or not, Ares?"
his fathers eyes before glaring at Dite.
"You’re on," he whispered.
smiled. "And you’re gone," she snickered.
In a flash
of brilliant light, they both vanished. Each had much
work to do. It would soon be the longest two mortal
days of their immortal lives.
walked into the cave in the mountains of the far northern land of
dong!" she called out as she crept inside.
as a shadow moved toward her and she smiled when the
figure came into view. He was a winged old man with shaggy hair and beard,
wearing a billowing cloak. He didn't seem very pleased
by her presence.
he said sarcastically. "And to what do I owe this
to see you're still your old cranky self, Boreas."
me now," he said shortly. "What do you
much, just a little wind from the North down to the
Valley. Cold, but not mortal life threatening."
what's in it for me?" he grumbled.
satisfaction of helping two people achieve
never-ending love?" she proposed in a perky
He paused a
beat. "Again, what's in it for me?"
sighed. "Does there always have to be something
in it? Can't you just 'do good' for the sake of doing
he paused a beat and said, "No."
right, here's the sitch," she told him. "You
help me and, by extension, you'll get Ares goat."
didn't you just say that?" he asked.
thought I'd appear to your good nature first."
God of the North Winds. I have no good nature, but I
do have a distain for Ares that surpasses my distain
however it's gotta be, I ain't complaining. Just make
it happen, alright?" she said briskly.
He gave her
a nod and stood at the edge of the cave entrance. He
moved his hands in a sweeping motion and the air
around them chilled and then gushed through the nearby
that's what I'm talkin' about," Aphrodite said
Gabrielle called up to the warrior who was mounted on
Argo while she walked.
could hear the young woman’s teeth chatter.
we stay at an inn tonight? You said the town isn’t
too far away right?"
grinned. It was chilly, but not too cold. At least,
not for her since she'd been through worse. The bard,
you sure? Cold is good for the complexion," she
but it’s deadly to the extremities," the bard
replied. "My face might get a healthy glow, but
my fingers and toes will fall off."
wouldn’t want that to happen now would we?" The
warrior’s voice was syrupy.
we wouldn’t," the bard agreed in a like tone.
the warrior replied, pulling Argo to a halt. "But
you’ll have to ride." The
warrior offered her hand, but the bard looked
undecided. Xena continued and said, "If we keep
up this pace the inn might be full when we
another moments hesitation, the bard was on the mare.
Seconds later, she was hanging onto Xena’s waist for
dear life as they took off in a full gallop.
nothing special about the inn – similar to the
countless number they had visited before. It was
expensive though – 10 dinars – consumer demand was
high on an evening like this and the owner took full
advantage of it. Many keepers did. Except for my
mother, Xena reflected. Cyrene never charged more,
whether it be the hottest or the coldest day of the
year. Xena had asked her mother why she never
‘rated’ her rooms.
the same room whether it’s bright and sunny or cold
and snowing. Where’s the justice in charging
more," she had replied.
at the thought. Although the warrior had ‘lost her
way’ in the past, she could see where her sense of
fairness and honor had come from.
Gabrielle dropped their gear as the barmaid entered to
fill their tub. Buckets later the tub steamed with the
promise of warmth. Xena could see the bard was
in. I’ll get us some food and drink," the
simply smiled as she began to disrobe. The door was
open as the warrior started to leave.
if they got it?" the warrior asked knowingly with
nodded enthusiastically, with a smile. The warrior did
know the bard well.
finally returned with the warm food, she found
Gabrielle soaking – hair wet, eyes closed. The bard
looked quite comfortable.
wasn’t large or very deep since the water only came
up to the bards waist, exposing her nakedness. Xena
took a moment to admire the view before placing the
tray on the table with shaking hands. The noise forced
Gabrielle’s eyes open.
she asked hopefully.
up the loaf. "Your lucky day."
she replied. "Now get in her before the water
not sure we can both fit," the warrior observed.
grinned. "I’ll make room. Come on in."
the warrior disrobed. If Xena didn’t know any better
she would assume the bard was studying her. Little did
she know, that was exactly what the bard was doing.
introductions to the amazons, and her growing
friendship with Ephiny, Gabrielle held Xena in a new
light. Upon their last visit, Ephiny gave Gabrielle a
crash course in Amazon love...Or more accurately,
Amazon love making.
and her regent asked Xena to take a group of young
amazons to the practice field for a little education.
Xena happily agreed leaving Gabby and Ephiny to
discuss the ‘affairs of state’ in the royal hut.
After two hours of ‘negotiations’ Gabrielle gained
insights into her body she never dreamed possible.
remembered how Ephiny had chuckled when she told the
regent about her wedding night. She told Ephiny that
the experience lasted a quarter of a candlemark.
Ephiny ‘warned’ her she would need (and take) much
longer in pleasuring her queen. Gabrielle could still
see the playful smirk on the warrior’s face. She
could feel the way her body ached for contact. She
could also recall how grateful she was for Ephiny’s
Xena carefully maneuvered herself into the tub,
Gabrielle felt the familiar ache and longed to show
Xena how much she had learned.
Gabrielle whispered, still unable to get her nerve up.
"I told you there’s room."
asking, Gabrielle began to wet Xena’s hair before
lathering the soap in. The massage to her long tresses
made the warrior relax a bit. She reclined just a few
fractions and could feel the bards hardened nipples
teasing her back.
observed the scene with a great deal of interest. Both
women were so close to fulfilling her victory – a
deep passionate kiss within the next 48 candlemarks.
She began to think of ways to taunt Ares with her win.
But much to
her disappointment, the warrior quickly got out of the
tub once her hair was rinsed, mumbling something about
the food getting cold.
got a bitchin’ amazon babe in your tub, naked,
dripping wet. All you can think about is food?"
Dite remarked to herself.
Cupid appeared. "What’s up here?" he asked
observing the scene.
I was gonna ask ya to do some target practice, but
you’re a little late, Cuppie. The mood is totally
shot now," she vented.
Them? . . .Hades Mom, I’ve hit them with enough
arrows they’ll be pinning for each other for all
eternity. Nothing's worked. Give it up already, will
can’t! I made a bet with Ares! If they kiss and
profess their love, he loses all rights to the
bodacious warrior. If he wins, well, let’s just say
Artemis isn’t gonna feel too awesome that I broke
her queen's heart... and you know how she gets when
she’s in a groedy mood."
considered the exchange. "So let’s get this
clear. If you win queenie and do-gooder live happily
ever after. If Ares wins he gets his Destroyer of
thought about their predicament. "Why don’t you
just tell them what’s on the line?"
I’d be disqualified and I’d lose. Sure, I can put
them in the tinniest inn room known to man and hope
for some fireworks, but I can’t interfere directly
with the mortals. Only 'Godly Folks' are allowed to
know of this contest."
smiled. "So you can speak to those with godly
powers about this little bet?"
smacked her son on the forehead as an
Isn’t that what I’ve been saying?"
he continued to smile. "And I’ve got an idea
that just might work." In a flash, he was gone.
to the right!" the man yelled.
‘em. I see ‘em!" Both clubs were stopped in
mid-swing before coming back to smack their owners
The gang of
cut throats, who terrorized the village moments
before, now all lay scattered about the ground. A
bright light took the attention away from the
surveying of the damage. Suddenly, the God of Love
Herc!" he exclaimed.
Cupid! How’s your mom doing?"
and Iolaus walked over to greet the winged god.
"She’s good, but she could use your help.
We’ve got less than a day to get to Markerus."
wrong?" Herc asked concerned.
looked at Herc’s traveling companion. "Could I
speak to Uncle Herc alone? Nothing against you, Iolaus.
It’s just Gods stuff - I’m sure you
no more. I’m going to the tavern." Iolaus
Once he was
out of hearing range, Herc asked again. "Why the
secrecy? What’s going on?"
Xena," Cupid whispered. The God watched his
uncle’s eyes widen.
yet," Cupid replied. "And that’s part of
the problem... We need a course of action."
now would be a good time to start explaining,"
grinned as he told the demi-god of their predicament.
As he finished he asked. "Will you help?"
long-haired man smiled and said, "Lead the
Gabrielle were having breakfast when Xena noticed
Gabrielle drop her toast.
wrong?" Xena asked concerned.
who’s here," she answered pointed as she
smiled. Xena now smiled when she caught the view of
the familiar faces. She rose as the two men walked
are two guys like you doing in a place like
this?" she asked hugging both of them.
offered her greetings and vice versa.
Hercules began, taking a seat. "I’m here to
deliver a message."
who?" Xena asked.
hesitated. "I can’t say."
Who does it involve?"
can’t say that either."
visibly frustrated. "Well, what’s it
hesitated again, Xena interrupted his mumbling.
"Let me guess? You can’t say?"
smiled and shrugged in agreement.
for the message," Xena replied dryly. She started
to rise, but he took her by the arm leading her to the
Okay," he said quickly. "I can tell you
had a chance to speak someone, a man, screamed in
anger. When Xena’s table looked to follow the noise,
a chair crashed directly into Herc’s face,
shattering apart. The inn was soon a mess with mugs,
plates, furniture and even bodies tossed around the
okay?" Gabrielle asked looking over Herc’s limp
body yet keeping one eye on the room.
quick examination, Xena motioned the duo to help her
move him. "He’s breathing, but he’s been
knocked out cold."
carried him toward the kitchen. As they moved, Herc
opened his eyes once. "Strife... Love," he
whispered to Xena. When they placed him on a table
away from the commotion, she lightly patted his cheeks
hoping he would come back again.
does that mean?" Xena asked Iolaus.
don’t know," Iolaus answered honestly. "I
don’t understand why he said Strife, or the part
what message did he have to deliver to me?" she
asked growing irritated. She wasn’t angry with
Iolaus directly, just the situation of being in the
dark regarding the statement.
didn’t say. All I know is Cupid showed up. Talked to
Herc and the next thing I know, we’re on our way
here to Markerus."
thought for a moment. What could be so important about
her that Cupid would visit Hercules? Why did he
mention Strife? As the warrior thought it did seem
pretty odd that the fight broke out just as Hercules
was about to give her the information. It definitely
looked like Strife’s handy work, but what would he
care about Cupid’s message? Unless...
is behind this," she whispered.
always felt a chill at the mention of that God’s
name. This time was no different.
do you know?" Iolaus asked.
just call it intuition." Xena grinned.
can feel when he’s near," Gabrielle explained
would Ares care about Cupid’s chat with
Hercules?" Iolaus asked.
continued studying the demi-god. "I’m not
sure," Xena asked concerned. "And I have a
feeling I’m not going to understand until he wakes
could see the confusion, perhaps even fear, in
Xena’s face. She could tell - whatever they were
going to face was not going to be pleasant.
should be disqualified!" Ares raged to his
can talk to Gods," Dite argued.
he’s half mortal," Ares replied, getting up
into her face.
but he’s half-god too. Let’s not forget that...
Besides who sent Strife in to start that little
ruckus? Hum?... That was Godly interference. I think
you should he disqualified."
If you’re gonna send muscle-boy-!"
it!" Zeus yelled, drawing the words out for
emphasis. "You two are driving me nuts!"
Everyone waited quietly until he regained his
composure. "Okay," he finally replied.
"Aphrodite was with in her rights to tell
Hercules." Ares started to pout and Zeus raised a
hand to silence any protest. "And Ares also kept
his half of the agreement since Strife, although he
may be a weasel, is still considered a god. He said
nothing to no full mortal regarding your contest... I
would suggest that you both stop whining and start
planning. You have twenty-four mortal candlemarks
until a winner is declared. That’s my decision. Now
deal with it."
With a few
disgusted glares, both god and goddess vanished,
leaving Zeus on his throne shaking his head in
disbelieve and disappointment.
change?" Xena asked, peeking into the room.
of consciousness from time to time, but nothing
concrete," the blonde man replied.
don’t you get some rest?" Xena offered.
"Gabrielle and I will keep watch."
you sure?" Iolaus asked.
course," Xena smiled. "Besides you could use
a meal, a bath and a bed. Relax and we’ll get you if
there’s any change."
smiled and stroked Xena’s arm in thanks. After he
left, Gabrielle walked up behind Xena. "What do
you think Ares wants?" she whispered.
does he always want?" Xena asked, already knowing
Gabrielle had the answer.
not going to get it, is he?" she asked. The voice
was raked with fear and pain.
if I can help it." Xena smirked. She did her best
to convey confidence, but even she wondered if she
would be able to resist Ares yet again.
could sense it. "It would kill me if you went
back to him. Do you know that?"
wasn’t sure what possessed her, but she found the
back of her fingertips caressing Gabrielle’s cheek.
"It would kill me to leave you," she
whispered. "He’d never get me back without a
Xena was so
close to pulling the bard into her arms, kissing her
with a deep passion she knew was inside her, yet
refused to surface. She swallowed deep and decided
that she would indeed, kiss the bard. Gabrielle’s
tears however drove any erotic thoughts from her mind.
me he won’t get you back. Even if it does happen
someday. Just promise me now," the bard sobbed.
embraced Gabrielle like she had so many times before.
Gabrielle, her best friend. Nothing more. Nothing
less. Finally, after they clung together for many
minutes, Gabrielle pulled back.
promise," Xena whispered, kissing the bards'
forehead. "I promise." She wiped the
remaining tears away before hearing the bed creak.
In a flash
she darted over, taking his hand. "I’m
here," she whispered.
your heart," he whispered. "Do what you
never dreamed possible... Fast."
fell back against the bed, drifting into dreamstate
again. ‘Was that it?’ Xena wondered. ‘Was that
the message?... What I never dreamed possible?’ Her
silent questioning was interrupted by Gabrielle’s
does that mean?" she asked.
shook her head, resting Hercules hand back on the bed.
"I don’t know... Perhaps it’s time I made a
little offering to the Gods to find out just what is
the bard said shaken, grabbing the warrior by the arm.
"You’re not going to see-?"
Xena interrupted. "I’m going to see Aphrodite.
Hercules mentioned love so I'm going to the head
honcho. And I want answers."
it go?" Dite asked optimistically.
‘ole. Same ‘ole," Cupid replied.
All that mushy stuff ‘bout about Ares, the tears,
etc. and you mean they STILL didn’t do the
mom," Cupid answered. "But she came real
close this time. I mean it’s like she has
what the next words out of Cupid’s mouth were going
to be and the bigger his grin got the more she shook
herself in protest. "No! Absolutely not!"
on!" Cupid prodded. "I’m sure she
doesn’t hold a grudge over the incident at
Poseidon’s birthday party... What’s the harm in
asking her for a favor?"
don’t want to be indebted to that scaggy chick who
calls herself a goddess!" she argued.
mom," Cupid countered. "We don’t have a
lot of time left. The daring duo are headed to one of
your temples now. It couldn’t be more perfect if we
had planned it... What do you say?"
considered Cupid’s propositions and the fact she had
to bring in ‘reinforcements’. "Do you even
know where she is?"
could find her," he replied confidently.
couldn’t voice the words. She simply waved her
hands, giving her unspoken approval. With a grin, the
winged god took flight.
they there?" Ares asked.
are," came the sly reply.
he smiled. "Now you know what to do?"
have everything at my disposal correct?" the
goddess asked for conformation.
she replied. "Consider it done. By evening fall
the warrior will be yours again."
himself a drink as she left. But it was victory he
letting Iolaus sleep for two hours, the duo took to
the road. It took Xena and Gabrielle three hours to
arrive at the nearest Temple of Aphrodite.
Xena threw the slaughtered animal on the altar.
"Okay," she replied. "Here’s your
gift. I want answers."
Gabrielle giggled. "You need to be a little more
innocent comment made the warrior’s hair stand on
edge. She could feel her blood bubbling below the
surface. A look of deep anger flashed across the
warrior’s face as she turned to meet the bard. Xena
couldn’t explain it, but she was mad. Mad as Hades.
And neither woman could see nor hear Discord in the
really?" Xena replied snidely. "What makes
you the be-all, end-all of proper godly etiquette?
Huh? Tell me you little amazon wanna-be."
face grew almost as red as her hair. "What did
you say to me?" she asked with just as much
anger. "Amazon wanna-be?"
heard me right? You don’t have the first clue as to
what it means to be an amazon."
know a lot more than you think," Gabrielle
yeah?! Like what?! Swinging you’re wittle staff to
and frow," Xena answered in a child-like voice.
Xena laughed at her own comments. "I’ll bet
you’ve never even kissed a girl before," she
added in a menacing taunt.
guess you don’t know me as well as you think you
do," Gabrielle spouted back.
Xena stop and think for a moment. "Get Real! Who
did YOU ever KISS?"
none of your business," Gabrielle replied
Just as I thought. No one," Xena turned her back,
started to stroll away.
your information, it was Ephiny," the bard spat
out in defiance. "And we did a lot more than
kiss...Trust me Xena. I know what it means to be
amazon... in every way... every shape... and every
stopped and turned. She knew the bard wasn’t lying.
But instead of the pain she thought she would feel,
all she had at this moment was rage.
Xena shouted. "You slept with Ephiny!"
Xena," the bard replied with a sly grin.
"There was no sleeping going on whatsoever. As a
matter of fact, I’d never been so wide awake in my
bitch," Xena growled moving closer and closer
with each breath. "You slut!"
Xena was on
the verge of back-handing the bard when Aphrodite
appeared between them. "Essqueeze me!" she
replied, putting a hand on each woman’s shoulder.
"This is not cool! This is totally not cool! Why
on Olympus are you two-?"
could finish, she had her answer. Discord sat in the
shadows waving before vanishing.
started to storm out of the temple.
are you going?" Dite asked concerned.
it look like, your worship? I’m leaving," she
said huffing away.
to Xena. "You can’t let her do that. You
can’t let her leave!"
in Tarturus do I want with an Amazon whore?!"
Xena raged, loud enough so Gabrielle could hear.
IS totally uncool," Dite said wiping her brow.
watched the goddess, she could feel her anger lighten.
She couldn’t explain why she said the things she
did. And Gabrielle. By the Gods, she was ready to
strike Gabrielle – the woman she loved more than
life and the joys life held. Xena could feel herself
panic and she willed herself to breathe deep and long,
regaining her mind control. When she finally did pull
her body and mind together again, she had only one
realization – finding Gabrielle.
followed Xena as she darted from the temple. Xena
looked left and then right. There was nothing, not
even Argo. ‘By Gods, she’s on Argo’ the warrior
surmised. ‘She must really be pissed to want to get
outta here that fast.’ Xena realized there was
nothing she could do at the moment. Nothing except ask
some questions of the Goddess of Love. Although she
was free of Discord’s power now, she could feel her
anger growing again.
on Blondie," she said grabbing Aphrodite by the
arm. "We’ve got a lot of chatting to do."
watched a couple by the river. The young man was so
much in love. He was pouring his heart out to a young
maiden. He begged with no success until finally he
stopped speaking. A moment later the young maiden
leaped into his arms, the look of ardent desire
plastered across her face.
shooting, Cous'," Cupid complimented.
dropped her crossbow gentle and took the young God
into her arms for a big hug.
I’m so glad to see you, Cupid. It’s been too long.
What are you up to these days?"
little of this; a little of that. I’d like to say
this trip is just for pleasure, but truth is I could
really use your help, Passion."
that so?" the goddess answered. "You need my
help? Or does your mother need my help?" she
both of us actually," he confessed in a low tone.
"but I’m sure once you hear the story, you’ll
be eager to help." He ended on a much more
she slung the weapon over her shoulder. "Okay,
since you’re my favorite cousin and all, I guess I
could hear you out. All I ask is that you make this
snappy. I’m a very, very busy woman." She
they are," Cupid pointed.
don’t look too much in love," Passion observed.
kept trying to lead Argo away, but Xena refused. She
repeatedly grabbed the bard’s arm making her stop.
The harsh words the amazon queen used to berate the
warrior went seemingly unnoticed. The warrior was
relentless in trying to make the young woman stop.
Cupid could tell the warrior was exhausted from the
run back into town, but that didn’t slow her down as
she tried her best to coax the bard.
happened?" Cupid asked himself.
like your love potion didn’t take too well,"
just hit’em both and see what happens," Cupid
said motioning to her crossbow.
the problem?" he asked innocently. "We
don’t have a lot of time left," he answered
looking at his watch. "Only a candlemark,"
considered all the angles from their location and she
shook her head. "It’s too risky here. Too many
people. Besides with your little red-head that
steamed, it could have disastrous results."
what?" he asked.
having that much passion for one that you despise can
cause mortals to become suicidal. She may kill herself
before she gives into her passion and before you know
it she’s playing with an asp like the former Queen
of the Nile."
to construct a battle plan. Being the God of Love, it
wasn’t his strong suit, but he realized he had to
end their feud and get them both in a private place...
Okay. I think I’ve got an idea. There’s a temple
on the other side of town. Meet me there in a quarter
candlemark. Alright?" The winged god didn’t
wait for an answer. He needed someone much wiser than
him to help him in his task.
and the warrior however, continued to argue.
sorry," Xena replied. "You’re right. It
was none of my business to ask about your love
have no love life," the bard spat back.
"There isn’t a decent man we come in contact
with. It’s always warlords and hoodlums. What I do
have is an occasional sex life... And Hades, that was
once?" the warrior asked for clarification. Maybe
she and Ephiny weren’t really an item. That was
Now will you drop it?!"
didn’t say anything and continued to walk next to
only once?" she quietly asked.
rolled her eyes in frustration. "I thought we
gotta know," the warrior prodded gently.
"Did she want more than you could give?"
the bard replied taking a deep breath. "Ephiny is
my best friend, next to you of course... It was just
something we both needed."
do you mean?" Xena replied with another question
and she got the rolling eye look again from Gabrielle.
needed to know what it meant to be an amazon - on
every level. She needed physical release... She
hadn’t been with anyone since Phantes... She trusted
me and I trusted her. And that’s all that
Gabrielle walk a few paces ahead before catching up.
When she got to Gabrielle’s side, a glittering
shower of gold appeared before them. Both women
covered their eyes as much as possible without looking
away. When the sparks subsided they looked around at
the villagers and the apparition before them. No one
seemed to notice the white cloaked woman except them.
are on a quest for answers, I hear," the goddess
spoke with a knowing grin. "To do what you never
the Gods, it’s Athena," Gabrielle whispered.
simply nodded to the bard before turning her gaze to
the warrior. "If you seek wisdom you will go to
my temple without delay. Put these petty differences
aside for a moment, for the truth lies buried within
each of your hearts. The knowledge is engraved in your
you say I’m cryptic," Xena whispered to the
bard. The bard smiled and Xena felt ten times lighter
in the glow. ‘Gabrielle smile is as warm as a
cloudless summer day’ the warrior thought.
heard that," Athena added as she began to
disappear with a grin of her own. "I’m not
cryptic, but you are right about Artemis’ queen’s
dumbfounded for a moment. ‘How did she know-?’
Xena thought out of reaction, until it hit her. ‘Oh
yeah she’s the goddess of truth and wisdom. No
wonder she could hear my thoughts.’
Gabrielle crept slowing into the temple unsure of what
to expect. It was vacant. Not even a priest or
priestess around. The warrior could feel like they
were being watched. "Stay close," Xena
whispered. The warrior may have been the one with
extreme senses in hearing and seeing, but Gabrielle
too could feel something amiss.
back!" Xena exclaimed, pushing Gabrielle to a
cursed she had a perfect shot lined up on the bard
until the stupid warrior pushed her away. Her mouth
dropped when she saw the God of War materialize just
inches away from the warriors sword.
Xena." He smiled.
she replied sheathing her sword. "What’s going
I’m not allowed to discuss what’s brought you
here. But it is within my Godly rights to offer you a
have nothing I want," Xena replied, turning away
and leading Gabrielle away by her arm.
be so sure Xena," he said slyly. "What if I
told you I’ve got the power to get you any army you
chose. Living. Dead. Cutthroats. Do-Gooders. Anyone
you want from the past or the present. What would you
say I’m not interested, Ares," Xena answered.
go girl," Dite yelled from the back of the
temple. Ares shook his head as he rolled his eyes.
"I thought if you were going to play, well, I
could play too," the goddess answered.
glanced up and saw Passion in position. The lust
goddess motion to toward the bard and Dite picked up
on it, heading over to Xena’s companion.
want you to look at her Gabrielle," Dite replied
casually, shifting the bard, so she faced Xena.
"I want you to tell me what you see." The
instant Dite moved giving access, Passion pulled the
was about to speak, but the sharp pain in her back
that traveled up to her head stopped her. She shook
her head to clear her mind and when she looked up all
she could see was the bluest blue she would ever
witness in her lifetime.
the direction the shot was fired, but he found
little son of yours has gotten quicker," Ares
complimented. Dite smiled. Ares was clueless as to
what he was really up against. She listened as he
smugly continued, "but it won’t do any good. It
hasn’t worked at all in over two years. What makes
you think it will work now?"
couldn’t turn away from Gabrielle. The way the young
woman was studying her was hypnotic. Xena could see
the bard’s chest rising and falling – her
breathing becoming labored. Xena took the bard by both
upper arms and gave a mild shake.
to me Gabrielle. Are you alright? You look a little
flushed. Maybe you should sit down."
Gods, your touch," Gabrielle whispered. She
looked like she was going to faint at any moment. Xena
pulled her arms away thinking she had injured the
continued to smile, pointing at his watch. The sand
was coming down to the last trickles of grains. His
smile disappeared however as Passion gave a salute
from over Xena’s shoulder after she released her
body jerked, Ares eyes widened. Xena now recognized
the look on Gabrielle’s face -- it wasn't a look of
pain but rather desire. The emerald of her eyes, the
strawberry blonde of her hair. Xena had to have this
woman once and for all. Gabrielle heard the
warrior’s sigh and prepared herself for impact.
Their lips met forcefully, followed almost immediately
by their exploring tongues. Neither woman could
breath; totally consumed by their want.
screamed at the display as the last grain slipped
through the hour glass. "Noooooo!"
Dite countered in victory; her fists held high, teeth
clenched in joy.
vanished looking quite disgraced. Passion simply
nodded to Aphrodite, holding up her hand.
say it," she whispered. "Just remember you
owe ME one now." She winked to the goddess, who
smiled in agreement. Casually, she strolled over to
Xena and Gabrielle who were still feeling the height
of the arrows effects.
now I can tell you everything Xena," the Goddess
of Love offered. She waited a moment, but the pair
refused to stop their lip locking, well, except to
reposition themselves, striving for greater pleasure.
"I really don’t think you care," she
answered. "Should I leave?" She still
didn’t get an answer. Things had now progressed past
kissing. The bard was ‘fighting’ with the
warrior’s armor as Xena began her oral assault on
the bards neck with such fervor it made the Goddess of
the goddess teased her deaf audience. "That’s
gonna leave a mark." Aphrodite looked around the
room some more in hesitation. Finally, Xena pulled
away from Gabrielle to look at Aphrodite.
you have some place else you have to be?" she
asked in a hostile tone.
The goddess smiled.
released the bard. Of course, Gabrielle followed and
when Xena stopped to face Aphrodite, Gabrielle
continued to kiss and lick Xena’s shoulders.
"Find someplace," the warrior ordered.
"I’m real busy now."
see," she whispered. She began to walk backward
toward the temple doors as she added. "If you
need anything again, just give me some nice flowers
for an offering. I’m not into dead things
Goddess gone, Xena turned to Gabrielle -- a totally
naked Gabrielle. Xena grinned and twitched her eyebrow
mischievously. "You’re not getting’ any sleep
tonight my bard," she warned. With ease she
lifted the bard over her shoulder, carrying her to the
altar. "And I’ll give you a thousand more
stories to tell."
her priest grinned outside as they heard the bard’s
cries of pleasure.
After a day
of making love, the two women finally feel asleep.
Xena had constructed a make-shift bed out of the
curtains that lined the temple walls. They were awaken
by the afternoon sun and a smiling Iolaus and Hercules
standing over them. Although the passion had died
considerable, the two women still couldn’t keep
their hands off each other. As the four sat at dinner,
Herc and Iolaus couldn’t contain their grins at the
displays of affection.
years rolled by they did Cupid proud and he visited
them often. Xena, who never had a God she called her
own, did look forward to his arrivals. She even went
so far as to thank the God on several occasions. She
never saw Ares again or felt his presence. She never
felt the need to ask about him either. She did,
however, asked Cupid’s advice on her relationship
was growing more and more withdrawn around their tenth
anniversary and Xena wasn’t sure what to make of it.
At least, not until they heard of an impending attack
on a town by a vicious warlord. The duo arrived too
late and the town was burned down. Everyone was
killed. Or so it seemed at first glance. In a cluster
of trees, not far from some charged homes, the cry’s
of an infant could be heard. Upon closer inspection
they realized it was actually two young voices.
smiled as she picked up the babies. It was the first
smile Xena had seen in weeks. She finally realized
what it was that made the bard’s heartache.
the warrior answered before the bard could ask.
"I’ll agree to steam carrots, feed them milk
and even wash their linens...but... I absolutely
refuse dipper duty."
you mean it?" Gabrielle said hopefully.
not exactly. I mean if I really had to change a dipper
I suppose I could do it," the warrior teased with
escorted Gabrielle back to the Amazon village with
their ‘daughters’, taking a day to rest. Soon, she
was on the road alone with a regiment of the royal
guard. In two weeks time, they had found the warlord
and defeated him. She remembered smiling at the
campfire light that evening.
we defeated that scum, huh?" Solari had asked.
Xena replied. "I’m happy because I’m going
home tomorrow to my family."
returned the grin Xena had on her face. "I know
what you mean. I miss Ephiny."
returned late in the evening Gabrielle was awake in
their hut feeding their ‘youngest’. Of course they
didn’t know if Lila was younger, but she was smaller
than Cyrene so that’s what they told everyone.
grew, however, Lila overshadowed Cyrene. Later, she
even overshadowed Xena. Gabrielle always got a kick
out of how Xena would reprimand the reckless teenage,
having to look up while she shook her finger. Lila was
a lot like her mother, Xena. But Cyrene was just like
her mom, Gabrielle.
loved books and telling stories. She made it her
personal mission to see that every amazon in the
village knew how to read. And she’d be damned that
that wasn’t what happened in less than two years. It
didn’t matter what age the amazon was. It was a
requirement that they were literate. She was stubborn
about the issue and Xena always teased ‘her bard’
about the battle of wills they often had regarding
countless issue in life.
grew into adults Lila settled down with a nice girl
from the village, who just happened to be one of the
best archers in the royal guard. Cyrene left for the
Academy and fell in love, marrying a poet. A year
later Xena was shocked when she found out she was
going to be a grandmother. And surprisingly she took
the news much better than Gabrielle, who suddenly felt
lived to see the birth of her ‘great
granddaughter’. And it was nine months after that
baby’s birth that the amazons ‘committed their
queen’s body to the flames’. Uncertainty hung on
Gabrielle’s mind as she walked through the Elysian
Fields, but after a few moments she could see two
figures approach – Perdicus and Xena.
As they met
Perdicus kissed Gabrielle on the hand. And offered it
to Xena. "This belongs to you," he said with
a bow to the warrior. Gabrielle never felt so joyful
in her mortal life as she did at that moment. There
was a peace and understanding in this place but most
importantly, there was her warrior who would be by her
side for all eternity.